Although free agency this winter undeniably has been headlined by and centered around Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg, the two starting pitchers have largely assumed the bulk of the spotlight.
That held particularly true when Strasburg and the Washington Nationals agreed to a record-breaking seven-year contract on the first day of the Winter Meetings in San Diego. The deal is expected to further raise the bar in negotiations and the bidding for Cole.
The domino effect also involves the Nationals, as owner Mark Lerner previously stated the club was unlikely to re-sign both Rendon and Strasburg. As a result, Rendon’s market has primarily boiled down to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers. The L.A. Angels and Philadelphia Phillies have also expressed some level of interest.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, agent Scott Boras is seeking seven-year contract offers from teams interested in his client:
Rendon has spoken of retiring at 35, but Boras is asking for seven-year proposals that would take the third baseman through his age 36 season, according to officials with two of his suitors.
If Boras indeed is requesting long-term contract offers, it is a direct contradiction to the previous sentiment with Rendon’s free agency. Up to this point indications had been Rendon was willing to sacrifice years on a contract while still earning a substantial salary.
On the surface that aligned well with Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman’s philosophy, as he has demonstrated practicality and been hesitant to extend long-term offers to free agents.
But even if Rendon is in search of a contract that extends beyond four or five years, there still could be a fit with the Dodgers. Justin Turner is entering the final year of his deal and is willing to move across the diamond if it means improving the team.
Rendon, 29, would take the torch from Turner and serve as the Dodgers’ next stalwart at third base.
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